Today is my mom's birthday -- so Roxy joins me in sending big birthday wishes up to the Leelanau. I miss my mom. I miss being in Leland at this time of year. September and October, or as I like to call them, "Octember" is my absolute favorite time of year. In Leelanau County, it always works out that the leaves aren't at the height of their color by my mom's birthday, but by my birthday at the end of October, it's all over. My mom and I have decided that the optimum "leaf-peeping" time in Leelanau is the weekend in between our two birthdays. That's when the sun is warm during the day and the air is crisp in the evenings -- and the long golden rays of afternoon sunshine are magical. Anything can happen! Anything! And usually, I'm eating my weight in candy corn. I like to go down to the Leland Dam and watch the fish jump. That's where I buy my candy corn -- at the Dam Candy Store. And then I watch the salmon try to swim upstream. After that I like to wander back home and make some applesauce and then maybe curl up with something good to read...or watch. It just doesn't get much better.